Coalition Warns Arizona Governor of Dangers of Rest Area Commercialization

Adding commercial services to state-run rest areas threatens Arizona jobs and will cripple critical public services like schools, fire and police departments, the Partnership to Save Highway Communities warned Arizona Gov. Janice Brewer.

Responding to Arizona’s call to “reform” highway rest areas, the Coalition of highway-based businesses warned Gov. Brewer that adding fuel, food and other retail services to the Interstate right-of-way will radically alter the competitive landscape, devastating nearby businesses and communities by granting the state direct access to highway motorists.

“As a coalition of business owners who rely upon interstate highway traffic, we strongly oppose rest area commercialization, as it would enable state governments and their hand-picked vendors to unfairly compete with private businesses located at interstate highway exits” the coalition said in a letter to Gov. Brewer  June 10.  “At a time when our economy is slowly emerging from the depths of a crippling recession, permitting such unfair competition will endanger any economic recovery and will result in a loss of thousands of jobs in Arizona …seeking the opportunity to engage in direct competition with private businesses is not solution to these [budgetary] problems. ”

The Coalition to Save Highway Communities encouraged Gov. Brewer to seek alternative solutions to solving any budgetary crisis caused by the recession, including innovative ideas that allow the state to partner with businesses to help meet the safety needs of the traveling public without threatening the livelihood of thousands of people.

“In these challenging times, we hope that you will seek to work with our coalition to develop long-term approaches to ensuring the safety of the traveling public and the economic viability of our businesses.  Such solutions will benefit everyone and will lead to future growth for Arizona’s economy,” the letter concludes.

Click here to read the letter

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